ACAR support for CALD services

The Australian Government has announced a $1.5 million project to help CALD organisations to compete in the annual Aged Care Approval Round.

CALD Fifield
Senator Mitch Fifield, Ljubica Petrov, manager, Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing, and Senator Fierravanti-Wells

The Australian Government has announced a $1.5 million project to help CALD organisations to compete in the annual Aged Care Approval Round.

Assistant Minister for Social Services Mitch Fifield told the Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing’s biennial national conference on Thursday the funding would go towards developing resources to support the CALD ageing sector in the applications process.

He said it was important that the aged care sector supported consumer choice and the way to do that was to strengthen the capacity of both generalist and CALD specific organisations.

Over 300 delegates attended the Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing’s biennial national conference
Over 300 delegates attended the Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing’s biennial national conference

“We will be allocating $1.5 million to help develop tools and resources that will help make organisations competitive in the applications for community and residential aged care processes,” he told the audience in Melbourne.

Senator Fifield, who attended the conference with parliamentary secretary for social services Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, also confirmed the government’s support for the National Ageing and Aged Care Strategy for people from CALD backgrounds, introduced by the former government in 2012.

However, he acknowledged more needed to be done to improve the access and delivery of services, and he said supporting CALD older Australians to navigate the aged care system would be addressed by the government. “When you have a CALD background, which can be a challenge, put it together with navigating the aged care system which is a challenge at the best of times for anyone, it’s something that will be in our focus.”

Senator Fierravanti-Wells recounted the personal story of her ageing parents requiring aged care services and her father with dementia reverting to the Italian dialect of his youth and the challenge this has presented to staff.

She said over the past three years she has seen the best and the worst of the aged care system.

Senator Fifield described the models of care for CALD communities as providing “a rich source” of advice for government.

Inaugural excellence awards

Dr Olga Kanitsaki with Dr Sally Goold
Conference speakers Dr Olga Kanitsaki and Dr Sally Goold

The conference also saw the presentation of the inaugural Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing Excellence Awards, which awarded gongs to service providers, Multicultural Aged Care Geelong and Villa Maria Society. The Dr Olga Kanitsaki Individual Excellence award went to Urfi Mirza, community services care manager with Southern Cross Care (Vic).

Mr Mirza, who has worked with international organisations such as the YMCA and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, is a strong advocate for culturally inclusive initiatives and is also a mentor to new staff, many of whom are from CALD backgrounds.

Villa Maria’s White Road Activity and Respite Centre in Wantirna centre took out the Excellence in the Not-for-Profit-Sector award for its Out & About group. White Road introduced the group in March last year to help facilitate the social inclusion and community participation of Chinese-speaking older people living in the eastern region of Melbourne.

Some 30 Chinese-speaking people are registered for the group and it has an average weekly attendance of 15 people.

The group is supported by staff who speak Mandarin, Cantonese and regional dialects such as Shanghainese and also makes use of ethnic media including talkback sessions on SBS.

Multicultural Aged Care Geelong was recognised for its work developing close connections to the local community. It has a community-based multicultural board, stable multicultural and multilingual workforce and numerous volunteers from CALD backgrounds.

 

 

Tags: cald, centre-for-cultural-diversity-in-ageing, concetta-fierravanti-wells, mitch-fifield,

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